A £5 Blog Post Isn't an Opportunity. It's a Trap.


It’s an established fact that copywriters don’t really like content mills. Of course we don’t. They churn out cheap and cheerful content at a fraction of the prices we charge.

That’s not what this post is about. It doesn’t matter to your business whether or not I like a content mill. What matters to your business is whether or not the content you’re buying is doing what you need it to do. Whether it’s helping your search engine rankings, connecting with your customers and providing a return on your investment.

I’ve done some digging. I don’t think a cheap blog post is a great opportunity for your business.

I think it’s a trap.

Because I’ve spent some time on the forums where these writers hang out. And I don’t like what they’re saying about their services.

You won’t either.

So, Who’s Writing Your Cheap Content?

It’s possible that you’ve hit the jackpot. That the proposal you accepted came from a good writer with the research and editing skills required to put together a blog post that does more than just take up space.

Or, more likely, you’re going to end up with a writer like this:

“I suspect that any native English speaker could do my job. I’m constantly amazed that people are prepared to pay me for articles that I pump out while playing computer games on the other half of my screen.”

A UK-based Content Mill Writer


“On the sidelines of typing, I can work on stocks and forex. There, I can increase my income up to several times”

An East-Asian Content Mill Writer

It’s a well-known fact that content mills pay their writers a little less than minimum wage. But even so. You’re running a business. If you were paying an entry-level employee minimum wage to work in your warehouse, or your office, or your garage, wouldn’t you expect them to – you know – work?

Imagine this employee was working in-house. Could you imagine letting them get away with half-arsing the job you pay them to do, while they’re messing around with computer games or stocks and shares? Can you imagine letting them brag about it?

But even if the person you’re paying for your £5 blog post is actually focusing on the screen, that doesn’t mean you’ll end up with a post worth publishing under your business’ name.

“I can write 40 articles a day, each 300 words, and get $60. I use to do “writing and thinking” at the same time.”

An Indonesian Content Mill Writer

Let’s do the maths here. Let’s say this writer works a standard eight hour day. That means he’s writing an article every 12 minutes. In a foreign language. With no research, because he’s writing and thinking at the same time.

Imagine someone asking you to write about an industry you’ve no experience of, pitching to clients in a country you’ve never been to. You need to write 400 words. In 12 minutes. And the clock started before you started reading this one line brief. Oh, and by the way, it’s in a language you learned at school, not the language you speak.

The post churned out by this writer is going on your company website. It’s going to have your company name on it. And your clients are going to read it. Are you beginning to see the trap?

The Cheap Content Trap – Spending £5 Could Cost You Hundreds

Before I was a freelance copywriter, I worked in-house for an online marketing company. I was responsible for that company’s reputation management. Here’s some free advice that I’m happy to pass on.

Your potential customers are skeptical. 

When times are tight, they’re looking for any clues that you might not be a safe bet when it comes to spending their hard-earned money. So they’re going to pay attention to thing like blogs.

And if they read a blog post that’s full of errors, wastes their time and teaches them nothing, they’re going to wonder if you’re the sort of company that makes errors.

That wastes their time.

That gives them nothing.

Congratulations, that $5 blog post has just cost you a sale.

Was it worth it?

Or do you wish you’d hired a blog writer that’d done some research, and that took the time to understand your customers?

Food for thought.

603 Copywriting aims to provide great content at a sensible price. It’s not quite a fiver per post, but you’ll get more research, editing and proofreading that you would in 30 content mill articles. Interested? Get in touch.

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